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Since its inception in 1979, ALRA has always been extremely proud of the students who pass through its portals and go on to achieve great things in the world of arts and entertainment. In 2015 the Academy went through a totally new refresh of its brand and a stunning new website was unveiled, so we thought it would be an ideal time to look at rebuilding our archive in order to highlight some of the achievements realised by the ALRA family over the last 6 years.

2009 Achievements

Professional Awards

Michael Lyle was awarded Dorothy L Sayers Award in 2009

micheal lyle

ALRA would like to congratulate Michael Lyle on being awarded the Dorothy L. Sayers Award from the Theatre Centre. Michael was a cast member of Under the Bed by Brendan Murray, produced by Theatre Centre in Spring 2009. The award was presented on 15th August 2009 by actor Sam West. This is a brilliant achievement for Michael who graduated from ALRA in 2008.

Find out more here

Steve McNeil won the 2009 Sitcom Trials

steve mcneil

Steve McNeil (ALRA 2006 graduate) and colleague Sam Pamphilon were hot off the heels of their win at the 2009 Sitcom Trials. In The War on Serious, a work-in-progress, they try out sketches for their 2010 Edinburgh show. They could be seen on ITV's Comedy Cuts, Channel 4's Sunday Night Project & Warner Bros' Comedy Box. In the same year he replaced the magnificent Rik Mayall in Michael Frayn’s farce Balmoral when the star had to withdraw due to illness.

He, along with Kirsty McDuff, was also presented with the prestigious Sir Alec Guinness Memorial Award

West End, UK and International stage roles

Becca Laidler performed in a 6 month tour of Sacrifice

becca laidler

Becca Laidler embarked on a 6 month tour of a new play by Claudia Leaf, called Sacrifice, with the Vienna English Theatre. The tour commenced in November 2009 and ran through until April 2010. Becca played the part of Beth.


2010 Achievements 

TV roles

Stephen Lloyd in Sex, Drugs & Rock ‘n' Chips

stephen lloyd chips

Stephen Lloyd appeared in the Only Fools and Horses spin-off Sex, Drugs & Rock ‘n' Chips. The programme, which goes back in time, shows Del and the gang in the 60s when they were 18. Stephen, who graduated from ALRA in 2008, played the role of young Boycie. The show also starred Nicolas Lyndhurst, playing the role of Dad. Find out more 

Robert Lonsdale in A Passionate Woman on BBC One

robert lonsdale

Robert Lonsdale (who graduated from ALRA in 2008) appeared in the new drama A Passionate Woman on BBC One. The first episode aired on Sunday, 11th April, at 9pm. Robert appeared alongside Billie Piper (Doctor Who), Sue Johnston (The Royle Family) and Alun Armstrong (New Tricks).

Rob was also extremely fortunate to be in the West End revival of La Bete, starring Joanna Lumley and Mark Rylance. The production transferred to Broadway later in the year. Well done Robert!

Jimmy Akingbola in Arrow

Jimmy Akingbola

A graduate from ALRA and now one of our patrons, we are extremely proud of Jimmy Akingbola who has had an astounding career since leaving drama school. Winning awards for his theatre work and appearing in countless television productions and films has led to him landing a recurring role in one of the USA’s most important television series of the current season: ARROW. In this highly acclaimed series he plays the role of the evil Baron Reiter. Read more here 

West end, UK and international stage roles

Fiston Barek in Love the Sinner

fiston barek

2009 Graduate Fiston Barek was cast as one of the two leads in a play at the National Theatre entitled Love the Sinner. The production had a 3 month run at the Cottesloe in May. In his reviews for the play, Fiston was described as 'a very good actor indeed' by AN Wilson on Front Row. The Independent calls his National Theatre debut 'dazzlingly persuasive'- click here for the full review

George McLean toured across Europe and China

george mcLean

George McLean, who graduated in 2007, got in touch to let us know he was back from Beijing, where he played the lead villain in Gulliver's Travels. The play toured to Number One venues across Europe before transferring to the National Theatre of ChinaFind out more

Michael Lyle performed in the Old Vic New Voices 24 Hour Plays

micheal somtehing

2008 graduate Michael Lyle was selected to perform in the Old Vic New Voices 24 Hour Plays. Hundreds of people audition each year for the chance to become part of the 50 strong company. The 24 Hour Plays took place on Sunday 25th July; click here to read more about the project

Michael also appeared in TMA Award-winning play For the Best at Liverpool's Gostin Buildings, click here to read the 5 star review from the Daily Telegraph

Michael let us know that his TMA Award-winning show For the Best transferred to Liverpool in the autumn from its home at London's Unicorn Theatre. We’re really pleased for you, Michael!

Natalie Britton starred in Irish thriller Perrier's Bounty

natalie britton

2007 Graduate Natalie Britton starred alongside Cillian Murphy and Jim Broadbent in Irish thriller Perrier's Bounty directed by Ian Fitzgibbon.


Hayley Ellenbrook in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe at the Royal & Derngate, Northampton


2010 graduate Hayley Ellenbrook appeared in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe at the Royal & Derngate, Northampton. Hayley took the role of Lucy. Click here to see Hayley's performance at the Spotlight Prize 2010 (please note this clip contains strong language). Click here to read a review

Three ALRA graduates receive 4 star reviews from Time Out

Three ALRA graduates scooped 4 Star reviews in Time Out for their London shows.

Amrita Acharia

Elevator ran at the New Diorama Theatre in May, 'performed with unnerving conviction by Amrita Acharia and Bradley Hall' - Amrita graduated from ALRA in 2009.

Acharia could also be seen playing the role of the Dothraki handmaiden Irri in the first two seasons of Game of Thrones. During the second season, Acharia’s character was written out of the series, however Irri survived far longer in the books upon which the series is based.

In 2011, Acharia starred in the one off BBC Christmas show, Lapland. She also made appearance as a school girl in the biographical film The Devil's Double. Amrita was also lead actress in the British Short film "Weird love".
Jerome Ngonadi

Jerome Ngonadi took a role in Beak Street after working with director Ken McClymont on his last ALRA production. Jerome graduated from ALRA in the summer of 2010

His classmate, Simon Kent, performed in Romeo and Juliet and The Wind in the Willows in St Paul's Churchyard in Holborn.


daniel blacker

Daniel Blacker in A Yorkshire Tragedy at the White Bear Theatre in Kennington

Daniel who graduated in 2009, was in touch to let us know he’d been working non-stop in A Yorkshire Tragedy at the White Bear Theatre in Kennington, which ran until the 24th January. Click here to watch the trailer

Just after graduating he went straight into rehearsals for LUV at the Tristan Bates Theatre and from there went into a tour of the West Midlands called Footsteps the Movie.

Daniel Healy in the hit show Backbeat

daniel healy

Daniel Healy rung the office to catch up with us, after starring in the hit show Backbeat, the Beatles musical, at the Citizen's Theatre in Glasgow. Daniel played Paul McCartney. Click here to see some of the audience reactions to the show - it clearly went down a storm!

The Citizen's Theatre have also put together some excellent footage of the fight scenes, and how they learned them - click here to view that video. We're so glad he's had a fantastic time - eight shows a week and still standing - congratulations Daniel! Find out more


If you’re one of our alumni we would love to hear from you, please email us on alumni@alra.co.uk with your story.